Coach Graham could face ban if Gatlin is found guilty


A good piece on suspected drug coach Trevor Graham from The Gaurdian:

Trevor Graham, the coach of the disgraced Olympic 100 metres champion and world record holder Justin Gatlin, could be suspended for two years by the International Association of Athletics Federations if the sprinter is found guilty of using anabolic steroids. "Once we have enough evidence to prove it, then we have the power to prosecute him," the IAAF spokesman Nick Davies said. "He would face a two-year suspension that is in line with the regulations of our anti-doping code."

Graham has been attracting the attention of the United States federal authorities for more than three years now and was recently placed under investigation by them after Angel Guillermo Herdia, a Mexican athlete and nutritionist, testified he provided steroids, human growth hormone and the blood booster EPO at the direction of Graham from about 1996 to 2000 for several of his athletes. At least 10 athletes coached by Graham have already failed drugs tests during the past eight years.

"We are all aware of the need of not just chasing athletes because in some ways, they are victims of a system they have been in," said Arne Ljungqvist, the IAAF's vice-president and chairman of the International Olympic Committee medical commission.

There is cause for concern in Britain because the country's most promising young sprinter Harry Aikines-Aryeetey is currently training under Graham. UK Athletics last night insisted they had done nothing wrong in allowing Aikines-Aryeetey to join Graham. The 17-year-old from Carshalton was invited by Graham to train with him and Gatlin in Raleigh, North Carolina, after the two met at a dinner arranged by the IAAF last year and the world youth 100 and 200m champion travelled there at Easter with the blessing of Dave Collins, UK Athletics performance director. But Aikines-Aryeetey turned down an offer from Graham to coach him full-time. There is no suggestion that Aikines-Aryeetey has ever taken performance-enhancing drugs.

In 2004 Max Jones, Collins's predecessor, had refused to sanction Mark Lewis-Francis being coached by Graham and warned him he faced losing his National Lottery funding if he was. Collins, though, does not appear particularly perturbed by the Aikines-Aryeetey situation.

"I am concerned about the situation with Gatlin in terms of the sport," he said. "But it's essential to look at what they are doing and exploit everything we can legally. I don't think they are going to spike his drinks or pass on nutritional advice. Graham coaches athletes we have to beat and pharmacology is part of the puzzle. We need to copy what we can copy and dismiss the rest."

Aikines-Aryeetey is just the latest athlete to have passed through Raleigh trying to find the secrets of Graham's success. He first began receiving attention in 1997 when he started working with Marion Jones, a schoolgirl phenomenon who had drifted away from the sport to pursue a college career in basketball but who fancied trying again. On the back of his success with Jones more and more athletes were attracted to work with Graham, a member of the Jamaican 4x400m team that won silver in the 1988 Olympics. Even when she left him in 2002 after winning a record five medals at the 2000 Olympics, he continued to enjoy success with the likes of Gatlin and Shawn Crawford, winner of the 200m in the 2004 Athens games.

The fate of Graham and Jones remain inextricably linked, however, because of a decision he took three years ago. By sending a syringe that contained a small substance of the designer steroid tetrahydrogestrinone (THG) to the United States Anti-Doping Agency in 2003 he triggered the biggest doping investigation in history which has snared some of the top names in the sport, including, Jones, Montgomery, Dwain Chambers, Kelli White and Chryste Gaines, in a web that is still continuing to grow.

It was the syringe which led to the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative being unmasked as a distribution centre of banned drugs for top names across a range of sports although Jones has always denied being one of them. Graham said he had done it because he wanted to help clean up the sport. Gatlin had claimed he was part of a new drug-free generation. Renaldo Nehemiah, his agent, met with him and his parents after his victory in Athens to discuss whether the relationship should continue when people began to publicly criticise it.

"I've told Justin, 'You're judged by the company you keep,'" Nehemiah said. With Gatlin having now tested positive for testosterone and facing the end of his career, they are words that UK Athletics should consider carefully in the future.

Graham's guilty athletes

CJ Hunter The 1999 world shot champion missed the 2000 Olympics after testing positive for record levels of nandrolone

Jerome Young The 2003 world 400m champion was banned for life in 2004 for EPO, having already served a nandrolone ban

Calvin Harrison The 2000 Olympic 4x400m gold medallist received a two-year ban in 2004 for modanafil

Alvin Harrison Calvin's twin and the two-time Olympic 4x400m champion accepted a four-year ban in 2004 after admitting using EPO, THG and growth hormone

Michelle Collins The 2003 world indoor 200m champion was banned for four years after the Balco investigation

Tim Montgomery Stripped of his world 100m record and banned for two years after his part in the Balco scandal

Dennis Mitchell A 4x100m Olympic gold medallist in 1992, he was banned in 1998 for a testosterone positive

Justin Gatlin The world and Olympic 100m champion is facing a life ban after testing positive for testosterone, the second occasion he has failed a drugs test


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Mike Young

Mike Young

Founder of ELITETRACK at Athletic Lab
Mike has a BS in Exercise Physiology from Ohio University, an MSS in Coaching Science from Ohio University & a PhD in Biomechanics from LSU. Additionally, he has been recognized as a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) from the National Strength & Conditioning Association, a Level 3 coach by USA Track & Field, a Level 2 coach by USA Weightlifting.
Mike Young


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Mike Young
Mike Young